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Rookie trainer hopes to be quick out of the gates

Tue 26 April 2022

By Glenn Davis

Michael Morrison knows he has some big shoes to fill in his fledgling training career and is hopeful of an early breakthrough in the near future.

Morrison heads to Ipswich on Wednesday with one runner - Olympic Class – a James Orman mount, who has drawn barrier eight in the Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1666 metres.

He saddled his first runner at Doomben last Saturday when She Can Sing finished seventh to the Chris Munce-trained Centrefire in the Benchmark 90 Handicap.

“It was a big thrill to have my first runner and She Can Sing will run again in three weeks in the Listed Bright Shadow on Doomben 10,000 day on May 14,” Morrison said.

Morrison has worked in the racing industry for 12 years before taking the plunge into a training career after his boss Michael Costa accepted a position to train for Sheikh Ahmed Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai.

Morrison has a team of 10 horses in work, all formerly trained by Costa, and another five on his books who are currently spelling.

“Olympic Class will be competitive but he’s only my second runner and realistically he will probably need the run as he hasn’t raced for five weeks,” Morrison said.

“He finished fifth last run at Grafton in March and he had two weeks in the paddock after that and has only been back in the stable for just over two weeks.

“While it looks to be hard for him at Ipswich, his fitness will improve and there’s a nice race I’ve set him for over 1800 metres at the Gold Coast in two weeks.”

Morrison’s foray into the racing game started when he worked with Deagon trainer Pat Duff for 12 months before a similar stint with former Deagon trainer, Darren Bell.

“I worked for Pat mucking out the stables for 12 months and that got me in the door,” he said.

“I then worked for about the same time for Darren Bell.

“At that time, I was working for the Commonwealth Bank but I would go to the stables around 3 am each morning until about seven then head off to work.

“I then did a two-year internship with Godolphin and I worked for a while with Glenlogan Park.”

Morrison started as a racing manager with Costa before moving into a more hands-on role to develop his skills in recent times.

“I’m starting off with about 15 horses but I’m looking to start buying my own horses straight away,” he said.